Monday, October 16, 2017

GUDIBRALLAN – Uti vår hage (Silence, 1970) / II (Silence, 1971)

 GUDIBRALLAN – Uti vår hage (Silence, 1970)
International relevance: ***
Swedish vocals

GUDIBRALLAN – II (Silence, 1971)
International relevance: ***
Swedish vocals

I never use the term 'proto punk' anymore. I don't like it, and the more I think about it, the more irritating it gets. It's just the present day's presumptuous way of forcing the past to fit with the current notions of historical events and processes. It's an afterthought at best. And so, Gudibrallan were not a 'proto punk' band. They were, however, a sometimes great rock band with a refreshing 'fuck off' attitude towards music, authoritative decrees and organized politics.

Founded in Uppsala in 1968, Gudibrallan's first gig was in a church, much to the congregation's dismay... It's safe to say Gudibrallan found a more receptive audience at the first Gärdet festival in June 1970. Fronted by inimitable singer Örjan Terje, they trashed their way through a ramshackle set including a wonderfully blasphemous Swedish version of ”Cadillac”, ”Farbror Sven” (”uncle Sven”), mocking left-wing and right-wing politicians alike (the ”uncle Sven” in question is then Swedish Minister for Defence, Social Democrat Sven Andersson).

Gudibrallan translated existing songs to Swedish several times. For instance, ”Hey Joe” became ”Hej Gud” (”hey God” – probably one of the most shocking songs of their first public appearance), and one of their best known tracks ”Sosse” was in fact ”It's Too Late” by The Kinks (later recycled for ”Jag minnas en gammal bil” by another Swedish band, Torsson, in 1980).

Gudibrallan's 1970 debut album ”Uti vår hage” was recorded in one day, mixed in one day and released two weeks later. Contrary to popular belief based on catalogue numbers, Bo Hansson's ”Sagan om ringen” wasn't the first Silence release – ”Uti vår hage” was. Almost fifty years later, its wild and twisted beauty is as fresh as ever. You may call it progg; if you insist, you may even call it 'proto punk' but to me it's simply a prime example of Swedish 70's rock music at its anarchic best.

”Gudibrallan II” followed in 1971, a more contained effort than their uninhibited debut – controlled or contrived, depending on your bias. Maybe the presence of engineer Bo Hansson allayed their initial ferocity? The best tracks are ”Hispan” and classics ”T-doja” and ”Sosse”, the latter displaying obvious similarities to The Kinks' ”It's Too Late” (which, as a side note, was recycled in 1980 for ”Jag minns en gammal bil” by another Swedish band, Torsson), while ”John Boy” and ”Visa om jungfrun” are in a International Harvester/Träd, Gräs & Stenar vein. It's a good album but not on par with their debut.

Original copies of ”II” came with a bonus single, ”Handgranat och bajonett” (a spoof on Swedish 1946 hit song ”Tjo och tjim och inget annat”) and the excellent ”Ät mera gröt” that would have been great on ”Uti vår hage”.

The original Gudibrallan quit in 1974, but in the 80's Örjan Terje reformed the band with new members including Mikael Katzeff (formerly of Elektriska Linden) and Åke Eriksson (Wasa Express). They had a couple of 7” releases in the 80's, and a full length album in 2004, ”Visor från Sovjetunionen”. They still play occasional gigs. In 1995, Silence released ”T-doja” which would have fit the 'best of' slot it was meant to do had they only included ”Ät mera gröt”.



1 comment:

  1. And a in Swedish Radio banned single: "Boforsresan" (The Bofors travel) or it´s real name "Boforskuken" (The Bofors cock). This was the last record to be banned by Swedish Radio so far.